HSW 73 – Adopting a Better Sleep Mindset with Constable Tracey Rogers

Sleep.  It can be so elusive when we work shift work, but is it really possible to get better sleep whilst working 24/7?  According to First Class Constable Tracey Rogers it absolutely is, but it all comes back to adopting a ‘Better Sleep Mindset”, and being prepared to do whatever it takes to foster and encourage better sleep.

Tracey Rogers is a First Class Constable with the Tasmanian Police Force, who has worked a combination of shift work and day roles throughout her 15-year career in the Police Force.  Understandably, her job can be pretty stressful at times, so being able to unwind and get sufficient quality sleep has become a huge priority and focus for improving her health and well-being.

In this episode you’re going to learn:

  • why having an outside interest is absolutely vital in being able to ‘switch off’ from a stressful job and shift
  • what Tracey did to conquer her ‘hate relationship with sleep’
  • how she overcame self-sabotaging sleep behaviours, that were having a huge impact on her sleep
  • why in order to get better sleep, we must be willing to try new things
  • Tracey’s top 3 strategies to becoming a healthy shift worker

Links mentioned on the podcast:

To get in contact with Tracey – reach out to her through Facebook / Messenger at Tracey Lee

For more information on Audra’s Better Sleep Program, you can book a Free Better Sleep Strategy Session by Clicking Here

Can't Sleep Through The Night? A Shift Worker's Biggest Mistake!

If you’re a shift worker who is struggling to sleep through the night, then you’re probably walking around in a zombie like state of extreme exhaustion.

Of course there are many reasons why this may be so, but have you ever looked closely at your eating habits?

Because if you can’t sleep through the night, a shift worker’s biggest mistake can often be from consuming an excessively large meal before going to bed.

Eating a big meal is going to interfere with your sleeping mechanisms as a large meal requires a lot of energy for it to be digested properly.

In fact the absorption of possible stimulating agents in the diet plus the release of hormones in the intestines after the heavy meal can keep you awake for the greater part of the night. It can also alter the quality of the sleep that you have which is certainly not good news if you’re a sleep-deprived shift worker.

Some shift workers may even experience vivid dreams following a heavy meal at bedtime and are more likely to wake up feeling hung over and heavy.

So if you can’t sleep through the night, the best solution is to eat a very light snack of salad as the last meal of the day.

If you feel you must have something before going to bed try:

1. A glass of water
2. A vegetable juice or
3. A herbal tea

As any of these three drinks are probably the best and safest snack to have at this time of the day (or night) – depending on your roster.

In this way, not only are you giving your body and brain a rest, but your gastrointestinal tract is given a rest as well allowing for a more restful night’s sleep.

Reducing Shift Work Fatigue [Part 1] – Your Sleep Environment

Okay so you’ve asked for it, and now here they are!

Watch the video below, which is Part 1 of my 5-Part Video series on “Reducing Shift Work Fatigue!”

In Part 1, I’ll be talking about Your Sleep Environment which has a HUGE impact on your quality and quantity of sleep.

So ‘thank you’ to all of my subscribers for telling me what your biggest shift work struggle is, and that of course is Fatigue.

Enjoy, Regards – Audra

Seven Simple Tips To Help You Fall Asleep!

As a shift worker, finding a way to get a good night’s sleep can sometimes feel like you’re searching for a needle in a haystack – without any success at all!

But it’s important to remember that sleep is as much a mental process as it is a physical one.

No matter what time of the day or night, you need to create a slowing-down period before you go to bed. Let your mind experience a degree of silence and stillness as you prepare for sleep.

This way, you’re helping your mind to unwind and switch off from work. We all know what’s it’s like to try and sleep after night shift, particularly when your head is still spinning from a hectic and stressful time at work.

So what are some simple tips to help you fall asleep?

1. This might sound a bit child-like, but drinking a glass of warm milk before you go to bed is helpful in inducing sleep. The calcium in the milk is calming, and if you add a teaspoon of honey – this can be very soothing.

2. Don’t eat a heavy meal or have any stimulants (including caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol) for at least three hours before retiring.

3. Do walk for 30 minutes each day, preferably during the morning.

4. Don’t watch any television, especially violent or action-oriented programs just before you retire to bed. Instead, learn how to practice meditation so that you can enter into a quiet state of mind.

5. Don’t exercise, unless it’s an easy walk, after 6pm. (Particularly if you have an early start the next day!)

6. Keep an inspirational book or a novel in your bedside table so that it’s handy for some light bedtime reading.

7. Don’t worry about NOT sleeping, or lie awake becoming more and more frustrated. Often simply getting out of bed and walking to the kitchen to get yourself a glass of warm water or camomile tea, or to the bathroom to clean your teeth, helps you to drift into sleep.

So the next time you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest, try these seven simple tips to help you fall asleep! It doesn’t matter if you’re on day shift or night shift, either way if you begin to apply them to your sleeping ritual – you’ll begin to notice that your fight to achieve a perfect night’s sleep, might actually become a thing of the past.

Shift Work Sleep Deprivation – Learn To Live With It And You Will Feel A Heck Of A Lot Less Fatigued!

By far the biggest shift work struggle that I hear from people when it comes to working crazy and irregular hours is FATIGUE. Nothing comes even remotely close, and you certainly don’t have to be Albert Einstein to understand what causes this fatigue. It’s simply called – ‘shift work sleep deprivation’.

Just hearing those four words strung together – ‘shift work sleep deprivation’ – is enough to make anyone feel tired and lethargic.

But if you’re working in an occupation that includes irregular start and finish times and/or you’re required to work long hours then you’re going to suffer from sleep deprivation at some point in time – no question.

And if you’re a night shift worker then you’re really in trouble because getting some high quality shut-eye during the day can be a monumental task to say the least, particularly if your neighbour decides to mow the lawn just as you pull into your driveway after night shift!

But the fact of the matter is, one of the main requirements of our job is to be at work when we would normally be asleep. Or more simply put – when everybody else is sleeping!

And the problem with this is that our bodies are programmed to operate on a 24-hour cycle which means that when the sun goes down, your body reacts by preparing for sleep. After midnight, your ‘body clock’ automatically starts to reduce your body temperature as well as your physical alertness so that you can sleep.

In fact this is a crucial time when your body starts to heal and repair itself, which is why working crazy and irregular hours long term can certainly be damaging to your health.

But I don’t want to be all doom and gloom (you’re probably reading this article right now and thinking how soul destroying and depressing it is), but that’s certainly not my intention.

What I want to do is to help you to learn to live with shift work sleep deprivation because when you work these crazy hours you have to accept that sleep deprivation is going to be a part of your life. It’s just one of those things. But when you begin to stop fighting it and instead, learn to live with it, you will actually start to feel a lot less fatigued. (Now you’re really thinking that I’ve lost my marbles, but just stick with me here).

So as of today, I want you to stop focussing (and talking about) how tired and sleep deprived you might be feeling right now. Instead aim to get as much sleep as you possibly can, and be grateful for the amount of sleep that you have managed to acquire. Because if you’re just saying to yourself over and over again how tired you’re feeling, then you’re just going to attract more of this tiredness – literally!

You see the truth of the matter is, you may not be able to change your roster so that you can sleep like a ‘normal’ person, so it’s going to be up to you to manage your “shift working sleep” (or lack of) – the best way that you can.

So start changing the way that you think about shift work, and start taking responsibility for your own health and well-being.

When you do, you will begin to notice that shift work sleep deprivation will no longer feel like a piercing thorn in your side, and you will be able to go on and lead a relatively healthy (within reason of course) and balanced life – something that every shift worker is so desperately in search of!